The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platform Businesses
David S. Evans
University of Chicago Law School; University College London; Global Economics Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management
January 30, 2013
Roger Blair and Daniel Sokol, eds., Oxford Handbook on International Antitrust Economics, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
University of Chicago Institute for Law & Economics Olin Research Paper No. 623
This Chapter provides a survey of the economics literature on multi-sided platforms with particular focus on competition policy issues, including market definition, mergers, monopolization, and coordinated behavior. It provides a survey of the general industrial organization theory of multi-sided platforms and then considers various issues concerning the application of antitrust analysis to multi-sided platform businesses. It shows that it is not possible to know whether standard economic models, often relied on for antitrust analysis, apply to multi-sided platforms without explicitly considering the existence of multiple customer groups with interdependent demand. It summarizes many theoretical and empirical papers that demonstrate that a number of results for single-sided firms, which are the focus of much of the applied antitrust economics literature, do not apply directly to multi-sided platforms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 73
Keywords: multisided platforms, two sided markets, antitrust, competition policy, market definition, network industries, market definition, market power, exclusionary practices, monopolization, coordinated behavior, critical mass
Date posted: December 5, 2012 ; Last revised: February 4, 2013
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